That is the question for which no one knows the correct answer, but some of the changes that will occur in the coming months and years can be assumed.
The globalization produced in the last 20 years has polarized manufacturing and supply generation around the world, tilting the balance towards the countries of the East with China at the top.
The reasons were purely economic: the products were manufactured at a lower cost, even considering transport to western countries.
This globalization has had both positive and negative aspects.
Among the positive ones are the increase in global wealth, the enormous improvement in communications and logistics processes, the exchange of people with the increase in the flow of ideas, etc … There have been many and very important
Among the negative ones are the impoverishment of the western middle class, and the increase of social differences between those who earn the most and those who earn the least.
And it has also fostered excessive consumerism based on the low prices of many items for daily consumption (clothing, different devices that we use daily, etc …) that have pushed us to make compulsive purchases without any need.
With the Covid-19 we have discovered that from the East we can also be exported a disease that paralyzes normal commercial activity, and an important part of our lives.
And what has come in one direction, could also go in the opposite direction.
What has happened is a very serious wake-up call to rethink globalization and the distribution of logistics systems.
The cheapest option is not always the best nor is it the only one. The most important issue is the security of supply.
The Covid-19 has shown us how poorly global development has been managed in recent years. And I am sure it will have consequences at all levels.
Almost all companies will rethink how to guarantee their supplies, and will diversify their suppliers, and as a consequence some prices (of many items) will increase.
In many cases they will bring part of the manufacturing that they had taken far away to their places of origin. Now they call that “re-shoring activities”
And I suppose that they will first approach the activities that can be most easily automated, to try to keep prices to a minimum and their competitiveness to the maximum.
The same will happen with governments. I hope they take steps to ensure that basic necessities are manufactured (at least a significant percentage of them) not far from where they are needed.
It has been a shame to have spent many weeks without having protective masks, without alcohol, without … so many issues
A true example of mismanagement and incompetence.
With these changing situations it is expected that some manufacturing will increase in western countries, although that will depend on the criticality of the products in question. In the case of watches, phones, computers, etc … I don’t think the situation will change much.
I think there will continue to be a certain globalization, but not like before Covid-19.
It remains to be seen how it is, and how much we have reflected on our way of living and consuming.
Hopefully our reflections lead us to live in a more friendly way with our environment, and that part of the change is to reduce the impact of CO that allows us to leave a smoke-free planet as an inheritance.